Photography Times: Married

March 22, 2010

In a country where women's rights is a thing to be reserved by legislation rather than a fundamental one, the figure of the proverbial Bharathiya Naari stands out to this post-mod day as a shining beacon of Indian culture.

So here's to the Bharathiya Naari - an epitome of Indian tradition, a deep red bindhi on her forehead draped in her saree's pallu, answering at the beck and call of the husband whose family she adopts as her own and her only. She's brought up conditioned to be married away into another family, make babies and take care of her husband's parents.

Although many Indian women have set an example by seeking an identity of their own and many following suit, the other side of the country is still sulking in outdated traditions and dogmatic prejudices. Just read the papers everyday and count the dowry deaths and domestic violences, you'll know.

For long I wanted to come up with an abstract idea that would symbolize the Bharithya Naari. Her commitment to tradition and subservience to her adopted family. And it was one fine afternoon reading through some of the recent posts on desicritics, I hatched the concept of using only the feet of a woman to portray as an abstract symbol of the Bharaithiya Naari.

This photograph portrays the feet of the subject wearing a toe-ring - a mark of a married woman in most Hindu traditions. Called the Metti in some parts of South India, it is said to have a scientific connotation as well. The Metti is said to regularize the menstrual cycle in women. It is always worn in the second finger and a nerve from there connects the uterus and passes through the heart. While walking, the friction caused on this nerve gives energy to the reproductive organs.

The photograph was taken with particular focus on the position of both the feet - indicating that the subject is seated one leg upright and the other bent on the floor. Metaphorically, meaning submissiveness; the under exposed grayscale symbolizing the lack of color in life. I set the shot on a Spot metering mode, which resulted in keeping only a distinct part of the foot in focus and the edges above and below out of focus.

Vidhya is an Independent Artist and a student of New York Institute of Photography. Twitter. Facebook. Facebook Photography Page. LinkedIn.
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